Since the 80’s Bollé has been well-known in the ski world for their goggles, but only recently have they put their efforts into cycling glasses. Now, as the eyewear sponsor of two UCI ProTour teams, Bollé has a solid cycling line with the Breakaway being a great choice of the bunch.
Bollé Breakaway Sunglasses Features:
- Adjustable nose piece
- Semi-rimless design for improved vision
- 8-base lens curve
- Nylon blend frame
- Rubberized temple tips
- Easily-swapped lenses
- Includes semi-hard case with lens storage and cleaning cloth
- A variety of color/lens combos (Shiny Blue/White with Rose Blue Lens, as tested)
- Price: $189
Breakaway is Cycling-approved
For cycling, I prefer semi-rim or rimless shield designs. Why? There’s enough going on while flying down a mountain pass or carving up that rocky descent that I don’t need something blocking my line of vision. Standard, full-rim sunglasses block your vision and get in the way. With that mandate, I was glad to get the Bollé Breakaway in for review — they fit the bill.
As mentioned, Bollé has really been an iconic brand for years, but had lost some traction — at least in the United States. In regards to cycling, Bollé has been very active as the eyewear sponsor of pro cycling teams and other well-known athletes in various disciplines. While Bollé ski goggles remain a staple for the brand, their sunglasses should not be overlooked.
Testing the Breakaway’s Versatility
Immediately, the Breakaway’s were put to good use mountain biking, trail running and road biking. I’ve thus been able to test the lenses out under a variety of conditions and speeds as well as the durability and wearability of the frames. The Rose Blue lenses on my test frames were very versatile and only struggled in the lowest light. At 17% VLT, they are an inbetween lens that should work in a variety of conditions — and these do.
The lenses are easily changed to further increase the versatility of these sunglasses (though they only include a single lens). Having a variety of lenses would be great, particularly in the shoulder season when riding in the early morning or evening hours.
The adjustable nose piece ensures the proper fit and placement for maximum coverage and vision. It took me a couple of rides to find the sweet spot. Don’t be shy about bending the nose piece, but be gentle as it’s only held to the frame at a single point. The rubber on the nose pads could be a little more grippy, but the flexibility of adjustment remains one of the best features of these sunglasses.
Since the temple arms are of a traditional design, getting these to fit with a larger-coverage helmet (like the POC Trabec Race MIPS) is a breeze. Everyone appreciates not having to do battle with the helmet to get the proper fit. Thankfully, the Breakaway’s have proven compatible with a variety of helmets from various manufacturers (POC, Specialized, Garneau).
The lens coatings have proven so far to add serious durability to these glasses. I’ve not been gentle with these as they’ve rattled around the back of the Subaru without so much as a scratch. I’ve also not always used the included cleaning cloth, but the lenses don’t know the wiser. The anti-fog coating on the inside of the lenses makes cleaning a bit more difficult since it’s not very smooth, but do prevent fogging on all but the coldest mornings.
- Excellent fog-resistant coating on inside lens
- Great optics
- Standard curved temples are compatible with all helmets tested
- Adjustable nose piece for a wide variety of nose shapes
- Hard to clean inside of lenses due to “rough” fog-free coating
- Nose piece could have grippier rubber
- Over time, the nose rubber became gooey and flakey (2 years in the back of the car did them in)
The Bottom Line: Bollé Breakaway
With excellent coverage and an adjustable temple, the Breakaway will really fit a variety of face shapes and style requests. With several flavors of lenses and frame colors to choose from, you’re bound to find one that matches your team kit.
Buy Now: Available on Amazon